Sorigué grows with sustainability at its core

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Sorigué grows with sustainability at its core

November 16, 2021

Sorigué launches 18 research projects aimed at boosting the group’s sustainability and know-how, which will involve designing new, more efficient products and processes for circular economy solutions mainly in the areas of water cycle, waste management and materials, such as asphalt and pavements.

A new graphene membrane developed by Sorigué will lower the costs of wastewater treatment. Using nanotechnology techniques, over the course of almost two years the Aqua-gox project has sought energy saving solutions for wastewater treatment plants to boost water cycle sustainability. 
In partnership with the Institute of Photonic Sciences (ICFO), a leading science institute with extensive experience in nanotechnology, the group is currently conducting lab research for the project and has already submitted a membrane patent for it. This confirms the potential it has as a key element for making a huge difference in treating wastewater.   
In 2020 Sorigué’s research lab designed a system to generate piezoelectricity built into an asphalt mix which is able to give off electric signals. This project was carried out together with the Polytechnic University of Catalonia (UPC) and Axer, a Sorigué group company specialising in complete systems. This research is aimed at characterising different types of piezoelectric devices to subsequently develop a conceptual demonstrator of an electrical generating element that can be incorporated into pavement.
Innovation plays a key role in Sorigué’s sustainability targets. The group seeks to share value and promote the design of new, more efficient products and processes to identify solutions that will add value to the production chain and boost the circular economy. 
These two projects are part of the 18 research projects the group conducted in 2020, and are included in Sorigué’s latest Non-Financial Reporting, which summarises the work carried out by the group in 2020. The report confirms the steady growth of the group towards a responsible business model, as set out in its Strategic Plan.
In 2020 the company formed six partnerships with leading organisations to drive innovation, with some examples being: its role in the RIS3CAT Water Community, funded by the ACCIÓ agency through the Watertur research project for smart water management in the hotel industry; its work with ICFO Nuclis Individual R+D and ACCIÓ to research the water cycle; its agreement with Tecnalia to carry out water desalination and product recovery projects at WWTPs; and its work with the UPC on its research on innovating pavement, among other agreements.
Commitment to environmental sustainability  

In 2020 Sorigué managed to have 80% of its turnover meet the environmental standard ISO 14001. Another one of the accomplishments this year includes receiving a waste management number from the Catalonia Waste Management Agency for the group’s company Àrids Catalunya, which allows it to produce recycled material for construction using a variety of construction and demolition waste.  In addition, the group is now offering its customers the option to use recycled aggregates.
Furthermore, four of the group’s workplaces became environmentally certified. One of them, Sorigué’s new premises in Madrid, won the Mitsubishi Electric 3 Diamonds Award. These awards recognise the most outstanding architectural projects in terms of energy efficiency, design and innovation carried out every year in Spain.
In 2020 the company lowered its energy consumption by 12% compared to the previous year. With the goal of reducing overall energy consumption, the company continues to promote hybrid and electric mobility, and renovated its fleets, invested in electrical machinery and committed to improving its facilities.
Most of its CNG vehicles are found in its water system service agreements in Barcelona, Granada and Madrid, while it employs hybrid and electric vehicles for its staff to move around and for gardening services, street cleaning and waste pickup. 
In addition, it continues to invest in electrical machinery over conventional machinery, especially when it comes to maintaining green areas. Plus, its Materials Division has also focused on investing in more efficient construction machinery. 
Furthermore, the group installed PV panels at four workplaces in Barcelona, with a total installed capacity of 264 kW.
Sorigué is looking to ground its business in the guidelines for circular economy. This way it may ensure an efficient use of materials and keep waste to a minimum to lower its environmental impact and preserve natural resources.
To this end, its green infrastructure business recovers the surpluses from its pruning service as biomass.
For its water system service agreement in Barcelona, it recycles the aggregates removed during works and reuses them on new projects for the same agreement. 
The group recycles 100% of the milled material in works carried out using cold in-place recycling and reuses 37% of the earth excavated during construction and civil engineering works. 
Financial diversification and sustainability 
In accordance with its diversification strategy, Sorigué introduced its new Energy Division last July. It intends to use this division to strengthen its presence in the renewable energy generation market, both in distributed generation and self-consumption.
To this end, the group acquired 60% of the renewable energy company Ecotelia Servicios Energéticos. Sorigué boasts over a decade of experience in sustainable and energy-efficient refurbishing projects for buildings, and in power generation for self-consumption through PV panels.
Alongside this, Sorigué is on a steady and stable growth trend in economic terms. These sound financial indicators reflect the solid performance of the company’s operations and allows the group to continue to see strong growth.
Transparency and responsible management
With the help of its CSR and Compliance department, the group has established a responsible management programme mainly aimed at securing sustainable business at the economic, social and environmental levels.
In 2020 Sorigué renewed its IQNet SR10 certification, a CSR standard certifying that social responsibility management has been integrated throughout the company, and its Criminal Compliance certification, which certifies its implementation of a set of preventive tools to ensure the company’s operations comply with legal regulations.
In addition, the group also received various awards recognising its contribution to several industries in 2020. These awards position Sorigué as a leading national and international company.
Some examples of these awards include: winner of the 2020 FAD Award for Architecture for the construction of the residential social housing building in Sant Boi de Llobregat, Barcelona; finalist of the 2020 FAD Award for City and Landscape for the new Doctor Pla i Armengol gardens in Barcelona; DIRCOM Ramon del Corral Award for Best Sustainability Report for its 2019 Non-Financial Information Report, organised by the Association of Communication Directors; 2020 MPA Award for Best Environmental Practices for Manufacturing, Paving and Transporting Asphalt Mixtures, organised by the Spanish Association of Asphalt Mixtures Manufacturers (Asefma).

People as a strategic axis 
Despite the crisis caused by the pandemic in 2020, Sorigué’s workforce grew 4% compared to last year. Keeping a stable workforce is part of Sorigué’s commitment to quality employment. In 2020, 75% of the group’s staff was on a permanent contract, the same level as last year.
In addition, the group works with a variety of organisations to implement awareness and equal opportunities policies for groups with disabilities for current Sorigué staff and to encourage new hires.
Digital transformation 
In 2020, the group created its first Digital Workplace, Cian, with access for 100% of its staff. This site, which builds on the traditional intranet model, puts Sorigué at the forefront of digital communication technology. 
Over the course of this year, the group also developed new, special digital applications for various business divisions, with the goal being to add greater value to customers. 

Sorigué’s 2020 Non-Financial Information Report provides all these figures in greater detail. This report, prepared by the Corporate Social Responsibility and Compliance Department, covers the performance of the Sorigué group, currently grouped into six business divisions: Technology, Services, Construction, Engineering, Materials and Agriculture.